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Vintage Christmas Ornament Décor

Updated on January 21, 2015

Go Old School This Christmas!

Fragile and beautiful, the antique glass Christmas ornaments I grew up with are highlighted here. My favorites are grey lavender with black netting that I believe to be from the 1920s or 30s, but perhaps even back to the turn of the 20th century. These days I don't dare put them on a tree or my cat will have them broken in no time, but I love the ornaments made into wreaths such as the one pictured here.

This page has some ideas of how to decorate with vintage ornaments as well as sources for them.

Photo Credit

Different Ways to Display Antique Ornaments

Let's say you've inherited some vintage ornaments, or you've been to an estate sale and you just couldn't resist buying the lot. You already have ornaments for your Christmas tree so now what do you do? There are some ideas listed here, but there are even more ideas in the sections about making trees and wreaths from them.

  • Make an ornament wreath, tree or garland by tightly stringing together the ornaments.
  • String them on pretty ribbon and hang them in your windows, along your mantle, from your chandelier, or from the ceiling.
  • Arrange them into a centerpiece in a crystal punch bowl.
  • Put them under glass cloches to keep them safe from cats!
  • Look at more creative ideas here.

Ornament Trees - Of Wire and Wood

Maybe you have the ornaments but don't want to mess with the tree. I think these ornament trees would be beautiful scattered throughout the home. There are many more to choose from. This is just a sample.

How Do You Make an Ornament Wreath?

Some day I'm going to get my nerve up and make an ornament wreath. I thought maybe you, the reader, would be interested in making one now so I went looking for tutorials.

Ornament Tree

Ornament Tree
Ornament Tree

How to Make an Antique Ornament Tree - Make a wreath or make a tree...or both!

Yes, you can make a tree that looks like the wreath, but there are other ingenious ideas here.

What is Mercury Glass?

by Paris on Ponce and Le Maison Rouge on Flickr
by Paris on Ponce and Le Maison Rouge on Flickr

You will see references to mercury glass when looking for vintage ornaments. Mercury glass is not really mercury at all but silver nitrate and grape sugar put between two layers of glass. It was made mainly in the 1800s, but some was still being made in Germany and what is now the Czech Republic (Bohemia) into the 1930s. That is why those old old ornaments of my grandmother's are so special.

Reference: Wikipedia

Do You Remember These Ornaments?

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    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 5 years ago

      WOW they are such beautiful ornaments and they make great decorations.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Yes, these are the ornaments we use during festive period most especially Xmas period. They are all very nice, enjoy.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I still use these! I love the wreath. I only use mine in the traditional way, hanging from my Christmas tree. You've presented some really beautiful alternatives.

    • profile image

      shahed4u2 5 years ago


    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      So pretty!!

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 5 years ago

      I absolutely love these!

    • profile image

      Optiplex 5 years ago

      I really love Mercury Glass. Thanks for reminded.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 5 years ago from Concord VA

      I do remember these tree ornaments! I wish I still had those we used on our tree when I was a kid. I don't know whatever happened to them. I think the ornament wreaths and trees are just beautiful!

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love your Christmas Tree of Vintage Ornaments. So beautiful

    • profile image

      candy47 5 years ago

      Oh yes, I remember! Thanks for a wonderful lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      These wreaths are very pretty. Thanks for sharing!

    • OnTheGoTravelTips profile image

      OnTheGoTravelTips 5 years ago

      I love looking at the vintage ornaments you have here. Thanks for the links to the tutorials. Beautiful!

    • Sunday-Vintage profile image

      Sunday-Vintage 5 years ago

      Love your lens! I just did one myself on a Vintage Christmas, check it out and let me know what you think please and thank you!

    • profile image

      PrincessMe18 5 years ago

      Cute Christmas decors.. I love it!

    • SurvivalFood1 profile image

      SurvivalFood1 5 years ago

      Beautiful ornaments!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      I absolutely ADORE old ornaments.. my grandmother used to have tons of beautiful ones... I absolutely LOVE that ornament tree! Gorgeous!!!! Blessings to you!

    • linfcor profile image

      Linda F Correa 5 years ago from Spring Hill Florida

      I am very much into vintage and these are cute ideas

    • profile image

      hunter5012 5 years ago

      Very creative I like it.

    • VanayeHamilton LM profile image

      VanayeHamilton LM 5 years ago

      I love this concept!

    • EdwardZhang profile image

      EdwardZhang 5 years ago

      Hey! It's Amazing and antique ornaments !! Thanks fof Sharing. Such a very beautiful Lens !!

    • profile image

      sumatirai 5 years ago

      Really beautiful ideas :)

    • HairBowHanna profile image

      HairBowHanna 5 years ago

      Gorgeous ideas,,, Great lens!

    • andreycosmin profile image

      andreycosmin 5 years ago

      Nice lens

    • Essentially Ind profile image

      Essentially Ind 5 years ago

      Lovely's really beautiful

    • profile image

      BarbaraSellers 5 years ago

      Yeah, nice. I do remember some bulbs with that indented design. What means most to me are the old-fashioned bubble lights. To me a tree is not a tree unless it is decorated with bubble lights, like we always had when I was a young girl.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 5 years ago from Canada

      I sure do; they're traditional classics!

    • Ronlove LM profile image

      Ronlove LM 5 years ago

      Very Nice!

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 5 years ago

      Excellent lens. Love the delicacy of these balls.

    • DLeighAlexander profile image

      DLeighAlexander 5 years ago

      Yes I do, I made a lens about Shiny Brite Ornaments too! Beautiful Christmas tradition, my grandma had some very beautiful ones that I remember from childhood. ~angel blessed :)

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Lovely lens - these antique ornaments. Using these as Christmas trees and wreaths is very creative. Blessed!

    • Celticep profile image

      Celticep 5 years ago

      Love these ornaments, I'm looking for a different theme for next year's tree, this might be just the thing!

    • pdxdonna lm profile image

      pdxdonna lm 5 years ago

      I also no longer put my vintage ornaments on the tree. I hate keeping them boxed up but don't want to risk breaking them. I love the wreath!

    • spikeyflower profile image

      spikeyflower 5 years ago

      I went to two different stores today looking for an ornament wreath that I liked.... I think I am going to take your advice and just make my own!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 5 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      I love the colors and shapes of vintage ornaments. Pinned!

    • fyrdragon350 profile image

      fyrdragon350 5 years ago

      i remember some of them, we had a santa claus one that was red with the rounded bottom, and a snowman one, but they broke and were never replaced. i've seen replicas of the vintage round ones, but have yet to purchase any.

    • aviwolfson profile image

      Avi Wolfson 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Yes, very classic!

    • Scotties-Rock profile image

      Clairissa 5 years ago from OREFIELD, PA

      My favorite kind.

    • KayeSI profile image

      KayeSI 5 years ago

      I have a handful from a beloved grandmother in storage. Not enough for a wreath though, I'm afraid. But the punch bowl suggestion is a grand one. Thank you.

    • LaPikas profile image

      LaPikas 5 years ago

      Of course! I have always enjoyed them since I met my husband. Her mother (my mom in law) has a large collection of very beautiful and unique items. And my kids also love to see them. We can't wait to see how the tree will come out this year =)

    • mrsclaus411 profile image

      mrsclaus411 5 years ago

      I won't forget ornaments like these. I still decorate with a bit of vintage ornaments at Christmas.

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 5 years ago

      Nice lens!

    • tfsherman lm profile image

      tfsherman lm 5 years ago

      Yes, I grew up with these -- some of them were enormous beauties, and one seemed to get broken every year.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Yes I do-not because I'm that old but because I hang some in the shape of a bell on my tree every year. Old and beautiful!

    • profile image

      olmpal 5 years ago

      Great idea! Those old ornaments are beautiful and they look even more beautiful made into wreaths or trees!

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 5 years ago

      I love going shopping at a local christmas shop for vintage ornaments.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I love these old ornaments. I have a few and would like to find more. They are more rare all the time, but they're so beautiful. Love your ideas for using them in fun, new ways!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I am so glad I read this. What a great idea. I don't have enough vintage ornaments to put on the tree but I do have enough for this. The ornaments I have are worn, but I see how great the patina of the ornaments looks here.